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Design Lab workshop for children


date:   Sun.13 May 2018    

time:  10.00-13-00    * open at 9.45

place:  MasayoAve creation  workshop atelier         

age:    4 to 7 years old


Internal exhibition: 

Sun. 14 May 2018  13.00-15.00

at SED.Lab workshop atelier


open public exhibition:  

SPIRIT GARDEN in Venice Design 2018   

at Palazzo Michiel,

25 May – 25 September 2018

in cooperation with

note for SPIRIT GARDEN 2018

– to observe, discover, communicate and share the joy

Masayo Ave


SPIRIT GARDEN is one of the first programs which I developed for a design workshop for children, which was commissioned by the Opera City National Gallery in Tokyo in 2006.  Since then I have been practicing the program in many cities in both Europe and Asia.


The first preparatory of the program is collecting the forgotten pieces of nature scattered over the busy metropolis. The urban dwellers are often unmindful of their natural environment, but if you start to observe well, each dried leaf found in any corner of the street is a micro-cosmos, containing wonders as much as our planet.


The collection of the leaves, branches, flowers or nuts found in the children’s daily surroundings are carefully displayed on “Wonder plate” - round white plate which specially designed for this program. Children are invited to take any piece in their hand, to touch, to feel, and sometimes even to smell it. A big magnifying glass is given to each child. It is an exclusive tool to observe the new world of design, through scientific observation of a tiny piece of nature.


The program starts with the practice to analyze the colours found in the tiny leaf, by matching each specific tone of colour with one from the pallet of 60 colours oil pastels. The second practice is to discover the geometric patterns and forms in it. Then very naturally children are led to illustrating their discoveries as accurately as possible on a white paper with the exact colours selected. No child fails. All children reveal the hidden secrets continuously and produce an incredible amount of fantastic illustrations in peaceful and mindful golden silence; in fact, which lasts as long as 90 minutes, if no adults disturb them.


The highlight is the construction of an installation titled SPIRIT GARDEN - an imaginary shadow garden symbolized with a tree of diversity made of the cut-outs of children’s illustrations. All children work together to let “my illustration” turns into “our installation.”, and the program concludes with an exhibition which to share the joy of their discoveries with the public.




The installation realized in the pilot workshop SPIRIT GARDEN 2018, Berlin will be reconstructed and exhibited at Palazzo Michiel in Venice from 25 May to 25 November under the framework of Venice Design 2018, which will be held alongside Venice Architectural Biennale 2018 in Italy.

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